Christmas Is Over And So Is My Breastfeeding Journey

  

A while ago I wrote a post ‘Breastfeeding For Me Of The Baby’.  I was feeling torn between continuing my extended breastfeeding with number five.  He was still very dependant in the evenings and I was no where near ready to stop even though there was a worry in the back of my mind that even though I loved everything about breastfeeding he would never wean himself off.

After some wonderful feedback from my readers I continued to do what was best for both of us and carried on.  I loved the closeness, the way it still helped him to settle and knew that he was still getting lots of goodness from it.  If I’m honest though there was a huge part of me that wasn’t ready to let go.

After having fed five children I knew this would be the last time I would be able to enjoy everything that breastfeeding brings.  I’ve struggled with feeding all of mine from one that didn’t know how to suck when he was first born, one with a tongue tie and countless bouts of mastitis that even landed me in hospital.  It’s been a tough journey with all of them but something I will never forget and I’m so glad I battled through each time as it was such a special experience for me.

A few weeks before Christmas number five was waking in the night as usual but not needed to be fed.  He wasn’t asking and was settling with a little cuddle.  This was actually a welcome change after nearly two years of night feeds!  He was still having his feed to get to sleep and this was the one that I couldn’t see going as he routine was bath, story and milk and he was extremely set in his ways about this.

But then the hustle and bustle of Christmas started and with a few late nights he had happily fallen asleep without a feed.  When it came to two concecutive nights without a feed I just went with it and neither of us have looked back.

I didn’t get that planned emotional last feed I was expecting, I didn’t have an upset baby crying himself to sleep at night it just worked.  He had weaned himself away beautifully and I am finally happy about that.

Breastfeeding For Me Or The Baby

  
I have happily breastfed all of my brood.  It has been a big struggle with all of them and always took a good few months to get into the swing of things with all of them but it is something I’m so happy I persevered with.

Now I’m onto number five who is still breastfeeding at 20 months and I’m asking myself ‘is this still for him or more for me!’.

As we all know it is suggested that we breastfeed our babies exclusively for the first 6 months.  I can fully understand that this is their only source of nourishment if you chose to breastfeed and of course they are solely reliant on this for their development.  For me as you are introducing food into their diet it is all so hit and miss as to what they are getting I feel happy to carry on demand feeding up until a year.

With the others they have swapped over to a beaker of cows milk more than happily by then and I’ve been quite happy that my job is done and they are moving onto their next milestone.

This time round things have been different and number five is still happily breastfeeding at night and I have made very little effort to break this cycle.  

I know that he is a good eater and is getting more than he needs through his food and now all the feeding really is, is comfort.  He has his bath, his pjs go on and he clambers onto my lap for ‘milky’. He wakes in the night and all he wants to do is snuggle up for a quick feed to comfort himself back off to sleep.

But in the odd occasion I’ve been out he’s not had that option and been more than ok to just nod off by himself!  This is where I am feeling it more the fact I’m clinging onto the last part of my breastfeeding journey.  As I said it’s been a hard one and even landed me on hospital with mastitis with number four.  But it is by far the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done and I still don’t think I’m quite ready to end it just yet!